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« Worship Software | Main | A new kind of dialogue »

February 10, 2005

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likopinko

Hi

Very nice work, admin! Have advised. It is healthy.


G'night

















betty davis

This here is the Apostle's Creed in case you forgot. Since we were talking about the basics and all, I wanted to give you one. :) How did you think of that one? It gave me a chuckle...

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.

Amen.

betty davis

Hey now, I grew up on the Apostles Creed! Just kidding, I did grow up with it, nevermind...trying to be humorous...

Hmmm, that is interesting, this whole being in Irag and jihad and all. Well, I suppose you are correct. I might decide to flee. If i didn't know what they were talking about, I would ask...and then I probably wouldn't return if I was afraid. I would want to leave with my head intact, that's for sure.

The differene is that they have the power to kill me there just because I am not Muslim. Here a Muslim has the freedom to walk out of a church and go worship their left shoe if they want without fear of being killed.

I realize we are talking about worship and not salvation. There are so many different styles of worship, there has to be cuz there are so many different types of people personalities. I believe styles should reflect conventionalism and modern times. Some people swing off the chandeliers in their churches, some people run up and down the isles..good for them! Whatever floats their boat...as long as they are saved and living for Christ.

But the basics of it all is that it has to be Christ centered...all of it. No matter what type of style. When we start to get so particular and start considering whether imagery which is clearly written in God's word should be an issue, then we are just wasting time in my opinion. We don't need to reinvent the wheel. Speaking on salvation, we give the message, the Holy Spirit does the rest. You are correct that we have to be concerned with the way we relay our messages, and I couldn't agree with you more. But if everything is done on the foundation of love and Jesus working thorugh us, it can only turn out the way God intended it to because we are allowing him to do all the work.

I know we got into different areas in this convewrsation, but it seems that is often the case in these blogs. It just happens. That is good because it can open up all kinds of doors of thinking. I just don't think we need to change anything that is Biblical, we just need to lead with love...even when it hurts.

I am not concerned about different worship styles...I am concerned about a gradual, almost invisible removal of that which is really Godly in the modern church...we can very subtly, very slowly create change before the very eyes of the people and they won't see it. So much suggestion of 'maybe we need to change this or that' or 'take away this or that'...just seems like such a waste of energy. You can change the wall paper, the worship or the chairs...if the hearts of people are not changed and Godly who run the church, then it is all a waste of time.

Now about that Apostle's Creed....oh, and you know what the basic are.

Thanks!

Benjy (groovythpstr)

"Comfortable or not, truth is truth. Someone seeking truth would take a moment to ask if they really wanted to know."

So, you are really saying that if you ended up in Iraq tomorrow, and went into a Muslim synagogue where they were having a time of worship, and they started talking about jihad, you wouldn't be uncomfortable? Would you go up to these people and ask them what they meant, if they were peaceful Muslims who took the jihad to mean something spiritual, or if they actually believe in killing non-Muslims? No way, you wouldn't wait around, any of us would be outta there so fast.

It's the same in our situation. We get so used to being christians that we forget to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, to look through the world through their eyes and see how our beliefs are coming across.

Another problem I have with your dialogue: we are talking about worship, not salvation. Beliefs on worship differ, so you shouldn't worry about anyone's eternal destination being in danger even if we disagree on worship styles. Even if I didn't literally believe in satan or spiritual warfare. You said let's get back to the basics, so what are they? The apostle's creed?

betty

When I think 'winning the lost', the last thing I think of is 'I am better than you' language. I was lost, you were lost, we don't view ourselves as better than anybody. We simply know the truth. We have accepted the truth...
But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost." "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
The Parable of The Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son...all about the lost...all spoken about by Jesus Himself. Hardly something He would say that could translate into "I am better Than You". You are either saved or lost, there is no I am better than you in that or warfare in that. There is only hope.

Truth is truth. You know this as well as I do. You can't bend it, you can't color it when it is ugly or not to our liking or when it makes us feel bad. It is truth. People need truth. We are hurting people if we do not give them truth. Sometimes the truth hurst...most times it saves. It brings us to the end of ourselves and to the foot of the cross.

If you look at Ephesians, you will see that Paul talks about warfare in a big way, a spiritaul way, but in a big, big way. Unless you don't believe Paul wrote Ephesians, but it doesn't matter cuz someone had a lot to say about it.

Also, I am not speaking about warfare in the context of preaching it to save souls...I am only talking about warfare because your thought prompting original statement was about not using such imagery in modern times as it might offend somebody. Don't want to sing about it in church cuz somebody might think we are a bunch of fanatics that want to go nuke all 3rd world countires. You didn't say that, but that is what I perceive your views are based on what I have read on this site and the others. I am speaking about changing truth to make things easier. I don't want to offend anybody, either, Benjy. God is love and we should imitate that love.

Warfare in the spiritual sense is not something you usually talk about when you are preaching gospel and salvation. It is something that usually comes after someone is saved cuz they need to know that they are up against an enemy that is real. If someone is new to church, and they hear us singing about warfare or the like, I would be very surprised if that is what turned them off completely. I give people more credit than that, I and I don't believe the Holy Spirit would allow that to be a hinderance...not if they confess Jesus.

So, if we circle back all the way to the original question (which got lost here), the answer is no we should remove the imagery of warfare in our modern worship.

Benjy (groovythpstr)

"We are not responsible for how someone reacts to the truth. We are only accountable for how we relay the truth."

Maybe the way people react to truth is related to how we relay the message of truth? It's been said that the medium is the message.

God calls us to invite people back into relationship with Him. When I read the New Testament, I see warfare as spiritual. "Winning the lost" is warfare, conquering, I am better than you language. It has become such a part of our "christian culture" that we don't usually even think about it and we just take it for granted.

In 2 Cor. 5, when Paul seems at his peak about reaching those that don't know Christ, look at the language that he uses: persuasion, reconcilation, etc.

betty davis

We don't kill teens by hurling rocks at them because, thank the Lord, we are priveleged to live after Jesus died on the cross. We live by grace....the Israelites lived under the law. We don't need to hurl rocks at anybody because sin reaps its own consequences...living with some of those consequences might be as painful as having rocks hurled at us. The only difference is that we have to 'live' though those consequences, we don't just die.

Also, on that note, the Israelites were under such severe penalty for their sins and had to have these laws in order that they might preserve the Jewish culture because if they didn't preserve it, there would be no Messiah. Their sin would have destroyed them just like all the other people groups in history (maybe save the Chinese) and there would have been no pure blood line for the Messiah. We needed our Messiah so desperately, as did the Jewish race, that it was necessary to have these extreme laws. Without extreme consequence, how would one define the extremity of their sin? Even with the extreme consequences, the Jewish culture at times came to near extermination. At the times they came back from exile, continually, it was the law of the Lord that convicted them of their sin (2 Chronicles). The law still remains a catalyst for repentance, but we live under grace and not the consequence of the punishment of the law. We recognize our need for grace when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our transgression of the law. (Romans) (The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.)

You said 'But if you were a Middle Eastern person who was not a follower of Christ and you attended a service when American christians were singing about warfare, how comfortable would you be? In their eyes, could we not be referring to people, nations, or leaders when we refer to satan?'

We just had the blessing of leading a middle eastern muslim teen to Christ. Comfortable or not, truth is truth. Someone seeking truth would take a moment to ask if they really wanted to know. As they come to the Lord, the Lord would work all of those thoughts out for them and with them. I am not concerned with making anybody comfortable to the point of where I 'pretty it up' so much that I have now placed their eternal destiny in the balance. We don't teach with fire and brimstone, we teach with love and we lead with love. Sometimes you have to love enough to be brutally honest.

You said 'I also don't think warfare or "winning the lost" is the best way to describe our relationship with those who don't know Christ.' I don't know anybody who goes out preaching warfare to win the lost or to describe our relationship with Christ. That would be odd. The truth of the matter is that once someone is won over to Christ, they need to be informed about spiritual warfare because they have now entered enemy territory and will be attacked. It is a war...take that out of it and you are muddying the waters.

I think that we need to get back to the basics. I really do. We all need to think outside the box, but when we begin to obsess or put more thought into these 'thoughts' and we become distracted, we get our eyes off Jesus and soon there is no Jesus in our walk...and we didn't even see it happen. Our relationship with Christ is love based, faith based, grace based...that is how we describe our relationship.

Lastly, God commanded us to preach the truth...not to convert people...that is His job...but we must speak truth. We are not responsible for how someone reacts to the truth. We are only accountable for how we relay the truth.

haz

How do you think "unsaved" ppl felt when Jesus said, "unless you drink my blood and eat my flesh"? He didn't seem to concerned that "others" would not understand--He knew the ones who were supposed to understand WOULD understand....when the time was right. The ones who don't understand are only receiving seed that has to be watered and harvested later--the same way we did....

Benjy

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. While I agree that spiritual warfare is a reality that will never change, perhaps our approach should. If "the biblical message" should never change, why don't we kill teens who rebel against their parents by hurling rocks at them? And what is "the biblical message"? Would it not be different in the year 250, 1000, 1500, 2005 and 3000? I suggest reading Brian McLaren who has really helped me think this part through.

I am not saying that when we sing that we are meaning that we are actually going to war. But if you were a Middle Eastern person who was not a follower of Christ and you attended a service when American christians were singing about warfare, how comfortable would you be? In their eyes, could we not be referring to people, nations, or leaders when we refer to satan?

I also don't think warfare or "winning the lost" is the best way to describe our relationship with those who don't know Christ.

betty davis

I don't think it would be biblical nor Godly to take the imagery of warfare out of our walk anymore than it would be correct to take away the image of the sheperd (saw that on nother post).

Ephesians 6: 10-20 says: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

When speaking of warfare, the Bible usually speaks of the spiritual warfare we go through fighting against the devil and his army of demons, who are very real, by the way. It is a war. It is a war that we live in every moment of everyday, a war in which we fight for the souls of the lost and hurting and dying in the world. It is a war against a very real enemy. How could you take the imagery of war out of modern christianity? It is what it is and doesn't need to be 'prettied up'. God is timeless, His word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Whatever the Holy Spirit inclined the writer's of the word to write a few thousand years ago applies today, also.

What a great weapon of Satan's warfare. To get people thinking these thoughts like are posted that I am responding to...just get people distracted, get people thinking things like this, they get their mind off of the fact that they are living in a spiritual battleground, they let their guard down, they end up suffering, their witness ends up suffering, and they end up being ineffective for the people around them.

And remember this: when we sing about warfare or talk about warfare as Christians, we are doing so in the context of Satan, who is very real and wants to destroy you. It is a war. Do not be deceived...or distracted.

'It totally doesn't have the same effect when American Christians sing about warfare and the destroying of enemies. ' That is what you said. I guess if Christians are singing about going to war in the physical sense against other countries, uhhh, this is a waste of time and just sorta weird. That is totally wierd and nobody should be supporting that mentality. We do not sing about earthly wars...we engage in spiritual battle and any lyrical reference of war would come along those lines.

I wonder if we did take out the imagery or warfare out of our worship or out of our walk...how much power would that give our real enemy. He is at his best when we are simply distracted.

And remember, God's word never changes...we do not want to get distracted about these thoughts. I don't think people are looking at me thinking I am singing about destroying 3rd world countries simply because we are a super power and we can. I am singing about our common enemy: Satan.

Lastly, God does take on the image of a warrior. He is the leader of the biggest army...the angelic army who fights against our common enemy...and they do it for you and me. So, I don't think taking the imagery of war out of modern Christianity would do anything to enhance anybody's walk.

Speaking of modern christianity, I had a thought which has nothing to do with what we are talking about, but a good thought. When we speak of modern christianity, what are we speaking of? The world changes, styles change, and I think the church needs to think outside the box and be modern and be contemporary in style, but that doesn't mean just because we change the style of music or the things we do and how we do them to reach each new and younger generation, we should even think about changing God's word. There is a lot of that going on. God's word is the same, the issues are the same, the war is the same. Sadly, it appears that sometimes a groups tries to reach out in a new and different way, and they seem to cross that line and begin messing with the real context of what a Christian should be. We then turn into religions or cults...no longer real Christians.

Thank you.

Benjy (groovythpstr)

You are right that we also find it in the NT. But we are not the victims, we are a nation others are afraid of. We definately need to get rid of it, as far as Americans christians are concerned.

Chris

War-language is definitely a N.T. as well as an O.T. phenomenon.

2 Cor. 10:3-6 (NASB) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete (emphasis mine).

I'm wondering... if we found ourselves in a scenario where it was our nation that was being victimized by an agressor-nation... would we then find hope and courage in the war-language of scripture?

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